Troubleshooting your HOTTAP

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If you've got issues with your HOTTAP leaking, not igniting and turning on, not getting hot enough, turning off when it shouldn't (not staying lit), getting too hot, or not hot enough, or in general just not working as it should and you'd like to diagnose / run diagnostics; this is the article for you. 

HOTTAP won't ignite

I can't hear any clicking:

HOTTAP will only start clicking and trying to ignite after the water has started flowing. At this point, the LED will also turn on. If you've got water flowing and can't see any activity on the LED screen, and can't hear any clicking noises, try the following: 

  1. Make sure that your water hoses are on the right way, cold water on the right side and hot water out on the left side. 
  2. Check that your D-Cell batteries are installed correctly, and that they are not flat.
  3. Check for blockages in your water lines that could restrict water flow. Unscrew your blue quick connect adaptor on the water inlet, and look inside the brass inlet fitting to make sure the mesh is clear. Make sure to clean the inline filter on your pump also if you have it.
  4. Adjust the ‘water flow’ setting on the HOTTAP to ‘LO’. This will make it easier to ignite (in case it is a water flow issue). 
  5. Try the Hottap on mains water. If it works fine you can work backwards to figure out what is restricting the flow to the Hottap.
  6. If you are using a 12V pump, ensure the pump battery is fully charged. If the battery is only 50% (for example) the 12V pump will put out a lower flow and pressure than it should.
  7. If you're running on tank water or a gravity-fed system you may not have enough pressure to turn the Hottap on.

I can hear clicking and my LED Screen Lights up, but there is no ignition:

After HOTTAP begins to click for ignition, you should hear a single solid 'thunk' which indicates that the gas valve has opened up and allowing gas to flow. If you can't hear this thunk, then gas is not getting to the burners. Try the following: 

  1. Check your batteries. Even in some cases, the batteries that come with your kit can be flat, so this is the first thing to check. Note that flat batteries commonly have enough juice left to power the clicks for ignition but not enough for the single clunk of the gas valve (which requires more power). 
  2. Check that you actually have gas in your bottle. 
  3. If available, try another gas hose if you have one handy (perhaps from a BBQ). 

If you can hear both clicking and a loud 'thunk' but still aren't getting ignition then it's possible that you have some air in the gas lines that can be purged. This can be done by following these steps:

  1. Have your Gas bottle set to OPEN and disconnect the gas hose from the gas inlet. A little bit of gas will leak out as you do this step but then it will stop flowing because the gas connection has a stop-valve fitted.
  2. Wait a few seconds and connect it again and attempt to start HOTTAP. 

HOTTAP lights but turns off

Over Temperature

HOTTAP has been configured to turn off at 50°C (122°F) to prevent scaling. HOTTAP will not automatically reignite if it's shut down due to reaching the cutoff temperature.

You can check the outlet temperature on the LED screen. If you notice that the temperature is getting too high you should reduce your gas flow lower and / or increase your water flow.

Wind Related

The HOTTAP has a flame sensor as a safety component. This is designed to shut off gas supply to HOTTAP as soon as it notices that the flame has been extinguished. What wind does is act to push the flame sideways or stretch it upwards which simulates a 'flame out' and causes the safety circuit to kick in. 

HOTTAP has already been optimised as best as we can to perform consistently in windy conditions. If you are noticing that the wind continues to turn HOTTAP off then here are some options to try: 

  1. Reposition the unit somewhere where it's less susceptible to the wind. 
  2. If HOTTAP is sitting against a wall or large flat surface, bring it forward so that there is a gap between HOTTAP and the rear surface. 
  3. Build a basic wind block to protect the HOTTAP. 


The water isn't hot enough

Water temperature is achieved by adjusting the Gas and Water knobs on the front of HOTTAP. For hottest temperatures, you should have your gas set to Hi and Water set to Low. This is because the water takes longer to circulate through the heat exchanger and picks up more heat. Conversely, for coolest temperatures, set Water to High and Gas to Low. 

  1. Check source water temperature. If the source water temperature is too cold then you may need to ‘cycle’ the water through the system back into the source reservoir then through the appliance again to meet your desired temperature.
  2. Check if there is a flame in the ‘viewing window’. If you cannot see a flame it could mean that the unit has switched off / not ignited, try restarting the unit and monitor the 'viewing window' for a flame.

The water is too hot

Similar to the above, start by making sure you've adjusted the gas & water knobs correctly. If that doesn't work, try the following: 

  1. Incoming water temperature is too high. For example, if you have a long water inlet hose, the water in the hose can heat up in the sun – as soon as you turn on the HOTTAP the incoming water temperature is high, and the temperature shoots to 50°C (122°F)and will turn the unit off (safety cutoff).
  2. There is a blockage somewhere. You can check for this by comparing the spray pattern out of the showerhead at both High and Low water flow rates. If the difference in the spray pattern isn't pronounced, it indicates that you either have a blockage or that your water pressure is too low (pump underpowered). 

Water Leaks

  1. Tighten all the fittings, including the blue & red male connectors that are attached to HOTTAP, making sure to check that they have rubber o-rings installed inside them.
  2. Tighten all grey quick connectors by tightening the end nut that sits around the hoses. 
  3. If the above doesn't work, you can try removing the end nut and inspecting the end of the hose and the barb fitting. Ensure that the barb is clean and well defined without any excess bits of plastic that could cause problems with a tight seal.
    hose barb1.jpg
  4. Check that the hose end is seated correctly and has been cut at a right angle to the barb. If you see that the hose has been cut at an angle you can remove it and cut it straight and reinstall. hose barb 2.jpghose barb 3.jpg

The Joolca pump is designed to be better at 'pushing' than pulling. So if you're pumping over loner distances, the pump should be set close to your water source so that the suction side is not longer than 3m (10ft). 

The pump is making noise but not pumping:

  1. First and foremost, make sure you've removed the red lugs from the pump inlet and outlet adapters. These lugs are placed here from the factory to keep the lubricating liquid inside the pump during transit but need to be removed before use otherwise you will not get any water flowing. 
  2. Make sure that all fittings are tightened and connected correctly. If the pump is trying to suction water from a source, if there are any air leaks in the system it won't be able to prime (clear the air from the lines). 
  3. Make sure that the suction filter is clean. 
  4. Make sure that the suction side is using only the 2m (6.5ft) blue hose with suction filter. If you're using the hose extension, this should be connected to the Outlet side. 

The pump is On but not pumping fast enough: 

  1. Ensure that your 12V supply is charged. If you are running from your car's cigarette socket adapter, try turning the car on. Some cars have safety mechanisms in place which turn off power to accessories when the car is off to stop battery drain. If you're running from a portable battery, ensure it's adequately charged and capable of outputting at least 12v @ 5amps. 

If your showerhead won't turn off, the "on/off" switch is not working, and water keeps flowing even in the "off" position, we will look at how to fix this issue. 

My showerhead won't turn off

If your showerhead won't turn off, the "on/off" switch is not working, and water keeps flowing even in the "off" position, we will look at how to fix this issue. 

Connecting the showerhead to the handle

The shower handle, the part with the "on/off" switch, only works in one direction. If it is installed in reverse, the switch will not function properly. 

This is how the showerhead should be connected to the shower handle: 


Note that the "on/off" switch is at the top of the handle, closest to the showerhead. 

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